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Don’t Doubt Your Creativity

I KNOW. It’s been a while. I’m a slacker but the truth is I’ll never completely leave this blog. I’m just very scatter-brained. It is part of having a creative mind and never knowing what to do first. And I’ll never quit either. You shouldn’t quit creativity especially if it’s something you love!

I saw this video by Ira Glass on the Huffington Post the other day and it made perfect sense to me.
It’s so easy to be frustrated with your work, so much that you procrastinate because the answer isn’t coming to you. But sometimes, it doesn’t come when you’re just thinking about it. Sometimes it comes when you’re knee deep into your process – even if you don’t know what that process is yet. Just like the video says, do work. Do what you love! And don’t give up. It is not always about the final product, but how you got there. And sometimes one weird idea you had will lead you to another.

THE GAP by Ira Glass from frohlocke on Vimeo.

The other thing that frustrates me is I know many people who had a life changing event happen such as a bad break up after a long term relationship. Or maybe they were rejected from the college they wanted to get into. Or they had a boss tell them how bad and slow of a designer they are. And they stop. Something brain washes them enough that they stop being creative, stop drawing, stop painting. Or that being and artist is bad and you’re going to end up starving on some street corner.

Well, no I don’t believe any of that!

All those things ^ up there happened to me. But this relationship between me and my creativity – not one thing can come between us. It will always be a part of me. No one can take that away, even if you stop using it.

Oh and one more thing – don’t scribble on work you think is bad. Don’t throw it out. Don’t erase it. SAVE YOUR ARTWORK. These are great teachers. It is wonderful to look back and see how far you’ve come. And you can’t do that if you’ve let it become trash. To me, looking at sketches and seeing the progress is awesome! Don’t hate on your past-self. It got you here!

Making the most of technology to improve your designs

The Best Design Apps at Your Fingertips
For the aspiring designer, nothing can compare to sketching on pen and paper, using your bare hands to create designs that they can truly call their own. However, we live in a drastically technological age, and it would be a shame not to use that to your advantage.

Pew Research Center’s studies reveal that nearly half of all American adults (45%) and two thirds (66%) of all young adults now own a smartphone, with many of them relying on their phones for most of their communications, business-related activity, and recreational activity. It really comes as no surprise, as mobile developers have been consistently churning out millions of apps that help with productivity, with provisions for easy sharing of files and projects. Of the millions of apps on iTunes and the Google Play Store, there are hundreds that can be used by would-be designers.

Pocket fruity drawing app

If you’re going to do all of your designing on your phone or tablet, however, it’s best to make sure that your device isn’t using up more power than it needs. Kim of pocket fruity recommends shutting off your 3G connectivity whenever you’re using an app that doesn’t require an internet connection, and connecting to Wi-Fi when using an app that does. “It’s another good way to save mobile battery,” She says. “It’s cheaper because you won’t use up all your data allowance and Wi-Fi is just generally more reliable for playing games on your mobile.”

Regardless of what kind of design app you’re looking for, we guarantee that you can find it in the apps directory. There are apps for designers of all experience levels, with some offering simple guides and some providing different tools. Graphic designers will be especially thrilled to find apps like Web Design in a Nutshell, which contains information on current trends on web design, as well as tips on how to make your designs work more efficiently. Designers HQ is also a great place to start, as it’s a community-run app that has user-submitted design tips and tricks.

Add to those the thousands of sketch apps available for free on the apps stores, and the possibilities for web designers are endless. With full connectivity to social media and an active user base, these apps don’t just expand your knowledgebase and give you ideas; they also widen your potential market.

The Return of Saturn: Complete

I know it’s been a while (again) I mean I don’t know.  I don’t have an excuse.  It’s a combination of being distracted and making wedding plans  (even though i have no idea what the hell I’m doing).  I couldn’t really think of anything to write.  And then last week it hit me – The Return of Saturn.  MY return of saturn. My 29th birthday was last Friday.

return of saturn with birthday balloons

And then I thought wait didn’t Angie write about this?

I learned about the “Return of Saturn” when I was 15 – when No Doubt released their album of the same title.  Of which was on repeat in my discman my first 2 years of high school.  Sure, I knew that the “Return of Saturn” meant that Saturn’s cycle is 29.something years and it is in the same spot it was when you were born.  I knew that much.  But what I didn’t know – I didn’t really realize until this year is how much you really DO change as a person.  You’re an adult – for real! No more games.  No more being scared.  It’s a time to stand up for yourself! Open your mouth!!  Be heard!!  I’m not here to be a lemming.  If I’m asked my opinion – I’m certainly not going to give the answer I think will make everyone else happy.  I’m going to have my own voice because now I realize how much I deserve to be heard.  With some years experience to back it up, I might add.   There have been sooo many times where I wish I said this or that – but I kept my mouth shut instead.  Well, not anymore.  The filters in my brain are slowly turning off and I’m finding myself having “word vomit” more often.  Oops.

I’m sure most of you have hear Katy Perry’s song Roar.  I’m not completely sure but I think that’s what she is talking about in this song. She is only 2 weeks older than me – born the same year.   We’re both completing our “Return of Saturn” for the first time.

I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything

things are happenin

It has been a quick and busy summer!! Time really does fly and I can’t believe we’re inches away from September. I haven’t blogged much but it’s for a good cause. I’ve been busy with a ton of other things and involving myself in more crafty/creative things outside the internet. (well, kinda but instagram doesn’t count right?)

engaged

In July, Bryan and I got engaged… it’s very exciting!! Bryan and I have been together since 2008 and living together for about 3 years. We’re both finally done with school and working full time (and then some)  and just overall settled into our lives… in many ways. It couldn’t be a better time to get married. We’re looking at next year…possibly.

Before the weather goes back to dark cold days we wanted to have our engagement party. To me this meant I got to design invitations and PRINT something, but I had no clue what to design!! (this is what happens when a web savvy designer never gets to print anything) I went through google images for inspiration… and came across this custom invitation on zazzle. However, it is a bit pricey… especially considering I can design it myself in illustrator.

Sooo that’s what I did!!! Ok, call me a copycat or whatever you want. But I had no idea what engagement party invitations are supposed to look like. And Bryan and I really liked this design. So I saw it as a challenge to re-create this in illustrator… from scratch.

This is the original:

invite-design

And this is my design (84 candy lane is just a fantasy, btw)

engagement-invitation

I designed it in illustrator and printed it using overnight prints. I got 100 postcard invitations for under $65 printed AND shipped. With envelopes. Interested in having your invitations designed? Let me know: cs @ girloncanvas.com and I’ll work with you to create something special. Then you too can order them on overnight prints!! Hooray!!

(and no, this post was not endorsed by overnight prints. This is me. Alllllllll me.)

I’ve been away

It’s been a busy month+ for me.  I went away to the beach, a week after that I attended IRCE 2013.  I went to IRCE through work – and it was super awesome because I will always consider myself a student.  I love learning and if it were up to me I’d stay in school forever. I was really nervous to basically travel on my own but it was definitely worth it. I learned so much about the internet, and how to think in new ways as a web designer and internet retailer. I met so many great people and learned about new companies out there… that I never would have thought to “google”. It made me realize how wonderful the internet really is!  I was also fortunate enough to see some of the beautiful city of Chicago:

 

Chicago Sunset
Cloud Gate Skyline

 

Cloud Gate Selfie 2

Cloud Gate Selfie

Me taking a “Selfie” in the Cloud Gate. Lol. (yes I had way too much fun with that)

 

When I returned from Chicago… I did a street fair to sell my jewelry… It was not as successful as I would have liked but it got my name out there. Now I have a craft fair another street fair lined up for this year. I’m hoping to do more… I just need to find them. I have about a dozen new post earrings listed on my etsy shop as well.

Street Fair

The Wake Up Light

Getting used to the 9-5 grind is an adjustment. Especially when you first come out of college – you are all out of whack because for 4 years you never woke up and went to bed the same time everyday. That is just impossible! But you learn and adjust. Maybe you invest in a coffee machine that goes off at 8am just to help get you going in the AM. But early morning hours can be really rough.

Last year I started working for a company (they make BUTTONS!) and we do a 4-day work week, which is four, 10-hour days. I have to wake up around 5:30am. Well I will say 4 DAY work weeks are the BEST EVER. I love having Friday off!! And I get to beat the morning traffic to work since I leave so early. The toughest part is waking up – especially on those dark winter mornings. Luckily, Bryan noted my bad habit of pressing snooze 356 times so he bought me this “Wake Up Light” to help. At first I wasn’t so sure – “yeah right NOTHING will help me unless you give me breakfast in bed!”.  I’ve been using it for about 8 months now and it does help VERY MUCH. A half hour before your alarm is set to go off the light gradually gets brighter and brighter – like your very own sunrise. You can set the brightness yourself. Sometimes I even wake up before the alarm even goes off – the light wakes me up.

wake-up-light

I think many may not realize but those annoying alarms that sound like sirens on steroids do not help. Sure they will wake you up – but you will start your day in a bad mood. And NO ONE wants that. It will just snowball into a bad day, and I’d rather wake up happy. This clock/lamp has 3 options if I remember correctly, one is a chime-like sound, another is birds chirping and the other is an FM Radio station of your choice. I use the chimes, I found that the birds chirping kind of confused me a bit when I was waking up.

All in all this lamp is great, a little pricey, I know. I’m sure most people would just rather use their phone. But it’s so worth it especially if you are waking up so early. The other plus is you can use it as a regular lamp, and its not so obnoxiously bright that it will disturb someone sleeping next to you. It’s a soft kind of light. It also doesn’t just shut off, when you turn it on manually it has this gradual fade on and off. Which is kind of cool. I like that.  Bryan purchased the wake up light for me on Amazon.  Shipping is free too so I don’t think you’d beat that.  The price has gone down about $18 dollars since he purchased it.

phillips-wakeup-light

The Sunscreen Song

I remember I was in 8th grade when the “Sunscreen Song” came out. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that it was 14 years ago already!! It inspires me… even listening to it now. So much has changed in my life in that time but I get the same feelings when I hear it now.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind… the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Boston Terriers and Snort Monster!

bostons

It was 2005 when I met a boston terrier for the first time. Her name was Daru she belonged to my friend Jessie. She had the greatest spunky personality, and loved you so much when you got home she not only wagged her tail but she practically danced it off!! In 2007 she had puppies and I got to be there when they were just about a week old. (The one I am holding in the picture, her name is Loca) I truly fell in love with this breed and their snort faces! I always said that I would love to have a Boston of my own one day. Sadly, I can’t because my boyfriend is allergic to dogs! Fast forward to 2009 and I made myself a nice twitter account, started making some tweet friends! I met Aireen Arellano, and we chat here and there. She posts pictures of her Boston Terrier named Angel ~ and I live vicariously through her with her love of her dog. She has the most adorable snort face ever – I could stare at her puppy dog eyes ALL DAY! (see below ~ definitely my favorite snortgram pic!)

boston-terrier-angel

For the past 6 months Aireen and her husband have been working hard on their Boston Terrier dedicated project!! Combining their passion for design and love for Boston Terriers they bring you SNORTMONSTER.COM. They create bold snort-faced apparel for all snort-loving humans out there! I am super excited to order a t-shirt and I secretly hope to be the first customer :) They are really truly dedicated to this project and I admire their entrepreneurial spirit. This is their mission:

Since snort faced doggies bring us so much love and happiness, we want to make sure they continue to bring as much joy to other people. That’s why we are commited to donating $1 of each shirt sold to brachycephalic (snort faced :D) doggie charities.

This month they are donating to TGC Boston Terrier Rescue. So head on over to SnortMonster.com and grab yourself a freshly printed shirt!! Don’t forget to like them on facebook and follow them on Instagram :) They officially opened their shop TODAY and are taking orders for shirts!!

snort-monster-shirts

The Little Mermaid Obsession

ariel-flower-lamp

Anyone who knows me personally knows about my “Ariel obsession”. It started before I was even a teenager and I was “moving out” of sharing a room with my little brother and getting my own room. Even then I was pretty crafty and creative. People see while walls – I SEE BIG CANVASES for decorating :) So I thought and about it and I wanted to make my room a THEME. I had some of my old toys left, including an Ariel doll and a case. I decided to make my room into an “under the ocean” / “Little Mermaid” theme. I was 12 then, and I still have those toys to this day!

That’s how it all started… and it never ended. The Little Mermaid Obsession. I went through high school and everyone knew it. Even my teachers. I knew people laughed behind my back, but I didn’t care. It was me – my character. I wasn’t obsessing over N*SYNC or Dawson’s Creek like everyone else, I was doing my own thing. When I turned 16 and I entered my high school’s art program and began learning more about painting and drawing. I decided I wanted to paint scenes from The Little Mermaid movie on my walls. The biggest problem was convincing my mom to let me. It took me a few years but I made it happen… And 10 years (almost 11) years later it still sits in my old room at my mother’s house.

ariel-freaks-room

Back then it felt like “oh this will fade, the movie came out in 1989, the 90s will take over and it will be forgotten”. Because in the beginning it was hard to find Ariel-related things. I had to check certain stores every-so-often, and most of all The Disney Store. But today that isn’t the case. It has blown up and now all these kids who weren’t even alive when those movies came out (Sleeping beauty, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, etc) are loving them as if they came out last week. I think it’s awesome.

Originally I was going to make a photo-blog of my “Ariel stuff” and in a way I have. I started an instagram, which also updates the tumblr I created: arielfreak.com. It’s pretty simple, because I can update it with my phone. :) You can also follow my account @arielfreaks on instagram. If you are a big fan yourself please send me any photos of “Ariel stuff” you have or mind come across. I’m always interested to see what others have!

New post earrings listed

I added four items to my shop this weekend…  I have some other earrings on the way that are a lot different from what I’ve already posted in my shop.   I’ve been experimenting with many different things, and I have a lot more I want to try!  But I told myself I really shouldn’t buy any more supplies until I have my first sale.  I’ve sold some work in the past, but I have yet to sell a pair of my earrings.  I also take custom orders for these post earrings so if you have something in mind just contact me.

Silver Glass Glitter Post Earring

Bright Green Glitter Post Earrings

Pink versus Purple Sterling Silver Post Earrings

Mismatching Earrings

The laundry bag saga

Ahh apartment living. Something you learn as you go. We moved into our apartment 3 years ago, since then I’ve had to get used to sharing a laundry room with my hallway neighbors. I’m one to put my laundry in and quickly take it out because I don’t want ANYONE and I mean -anyone- touching my stuff. I could cringe at the thought of someone putting my wet clean clothes on top of the laundry machines. The thing that took me the longest was sorting my clothes between two dryers – ‘high’ and ‘low’. It drove me nuts, for months. I wanted to be able to sort them but I REALLY did not want to buy two hampers. That would just take up too much space.  I just wanted a bag I could carry down to the laundry room.

One day I noticed my neighbor was using this bag for his laundry – a good sturdy bag that can stand alone but it wasn’t a hamper. ANNND it had 2 compartments which read “light” and “dark”. Even though that wasn’t exactly how I sorted my laundry I knew this bag was THE ONE. I had to have it. Over the next 12+ months I search time and again for this bag. It was originally distributed by Crate and Barrel. That link is a huge tease because it shows you the product and its reviews BUT they don’t sell it anymore. I even took the time to email them to see if they had any available anywhere but they said no it was discontinued. Why they have the link still up is beyond me… but anyway.

laundry-bag-crate-barrel

After months of checking the internet, even putting alerts up on ebay I decided to craigslist it. I went to the “wanted” section under “for sale” (oh yes for those of you with dirty minds I know what you are thinking). I posted a photo of the bag and said if anyone had it collecting dust in their broom closet that I would gladly buy it from them. Within a few minutes someone emailed me letting me know they recently bought it at Home Goods!! I right away made plans to head over to the store and I even dragged Bryan along with me…

I looked up and down the aisles and nothing. I searched for a good 30 minutes. No sign of it. We were about to leave when Bryan noticed this big bag underneath a pile of stuff (this happens a lot in home goods, doesn’t it?) It ended up being exactly what I was looking for!!!! There were two left… so I bought both. In the 20 minutes between waiting online and checking out I had two people ask me about this particular laundry bag. “Oh where did you find that? How much is it?”.

OMG. Hands off house-wife! THIS IS MINE. I’m an apartment-girlfriend and I need it! =]

 

[edit] I realized afterward on the tag that the company that made this particular bag is TaylorMadisonDesigns.com.  [/edit]

Laundry Bag Sorter

Black and White Photography Photoshop Brushes

Added some more brushes today… from old magazine photographs. I love old photography ESPECIALLY black and white photography. What I wouldn’t give to have a photo lab near by.. but anyway. These are 4 large photoshop brushes created with CS4. Find the link to them in my goodies section. :)


Vintage Photography Brushes